Mongla EPZ was established on 289 acres of land in 1998. Currently, 128 factories are operating and 15 more are in pipeline
Khulna Bureau: The exports from Mongla Export Processing Zone (EPZ) increased by 16 times in the past 10 years. Investments also witnessed a rise by 11 times and generated about 4,500 employment.
“Mongla EPZ was established on 289 acres of land in 1998 in line with the visionary decision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Currently, 128 factories are on operations and 15 more will go into operations soon,” said Executive Manager of Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) Nazma Binte Alamgir.
Nazma said the Mongla Port has become active because of the Mongla EPZ as products worth Taka 4,075 crore were exported through this sea-port in 2018, which is 16 times higher from Tk 295 crore of 2008.
Out of a total of 192 industrial plots of the zone, 165 plots have already been allocated among the investors, she added.
In 2008, the EPZ drew investments worth Tk 45 crore but investments witnessed a rise significantly in 2018 as the port town EPZ drew Tk 510 crore worth of investments, 11 times in the last 10 years.
Nazma said previously the economy of this part of the country area depended on agriculture and fishing. Now the situation has largely been changed as workers in the EPZ are involved in producing products ranging from heating pads of Toyota cars, VIP luggage bag, North American towel, jute based products to marble stone accessories etc, she said.
These products are being exported to India, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, Indonesia and a few more countries in Middle East and Europe, Nazma also said.
Terming the Mongla EPZ as a boon for the people of Mongla area, mayor of Khulna City Talukder Abdul Khalek said the EPZ was established when incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was in power in 1998 to facilitate industrialization in the area to bring dynamism in the Mongla Port activities.
Activities of EPZ and Mongla port were slowed down when the BNP came to power in 2001. But the port and EPZ became active again on the instruction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2009.
Traffic Manager of Mongla Port Authority (MPA) Mohammad Shohag said the Mongla EPZ was established here to keep the Mongla Port active. Lands were acquired from the MPA to establish Mongla EPZ.
Currently, there are very few empty plots in Mongla EPZ. There has been a great industrialization within the Mongla EPZ. The process of bringing in the raw materials is being done using the Mongla Port. For this reason the use of Mongla Port is at a rise, he said.
A user of Mongla Port S M Nazrul Islam said huge people are employed due to the Mongla EPZ.
“Now, I am working in the EPZ and earned Taka 10,000 a month. The income of my husband and me is sufficient to meet the expenditure of my family,” said Rabeya Begum who works in a factory in Mongla EPZ.